B&W JM Labs or Paradigm Signature S8.....Help?


I am deciding on a new pair of speakers. I think I have narrowed it down to:

1. JM Labs electra 936
2. Jm Labs electra 946
3. B & W 803D
4. Paradigm Signature S8

I understand that the JM 946 and B&W 803D cost about $2k more than the JM 936 and S8's.

My questions are:

1. Which will give the best sound quality in a small/mediam size room. (14' x 20' x 10'high) Hard wood floors.

2. I have not decided on amps yet. (different thread, maybe later)

3. I listen to 2 channel CD's and Home theater.

4. I have not heard any of these speakers. I am only going by specifications and reviews

Has anyone heard all of these speakers to compair?

Thanks for any help,

Danny
dffhogs
You can check Dynaudio's Contour S3.4 ($5,000) or S5.4 ($8,000). Of course it depends on your personal preferences. Dynaudio's are known for very tight, extended bass and smooth silky highs. Their first order crossovers are best suited when controlled vertical dispersion is needed (this helps to tame hardwood floor reflections). I've owned the Contour 3.4s for over 2 years and compared them with B&W's 802, Paradigms S8's and Thiel's 2.4. I prefer the Dyns for their smooth, unfatiguing and uncompressed sound and great dynamic range. Build quality is also first rate.

B&W and Paradigm use metal domes, which ring and cause fatigue over longer listening periods. I haven't had a chance to check the new B&W diamond speakers, however.
I did listen to the new Paradigm S8 and I was very unimpressed. The bass was very loose and the highs and mids muddled.

Regardless of which speaker you get, however, be sure to place a rug or something on the floor to tame the harsh sound caused by a hardwood floor.
I owned B&W (forget about them), Jmlab Electra 926 and now Dynaudio 3.4. Jmlab were exellent speakers for the price, more neutral, smoother and much more musical than B&W. They have much better tweeter, extended detailed and without that metalic glare. They are fast, play with authority, convey spatial information. Bass is not too deep.
Dynaudio 3.4 are even better. Deeper bass with exellent control, midrange to die for and smooth, natural simply excellent highs. Dynamic as good as Jmlab's and uncompressed (better in this respect than Jmlab). You can listen for tham for hours, Jmlabs were not bad either in this department, B&W pretty tiring.
Hope this helps.
I auditioned the Paradigm Signature S8's and they were good, but not substantially better than my Paradigm Studio 60's, so I could never justify the price. Very similar speakers. I like B&W speakers, unlike some of the others who've responded, but I also agree with the others that the Von Schweikert's are hard to beat by anybody at the $4k price point. They are just wonderful. I will be replacing my Studio 60's in about 18 months, and I will likely opt for the Von Schweikert's unless I decide to go into heavy debt for Wilson Sophia's ($12k).

In your price range, you might also consider an Audition of the Aerial Acoustics Model 8B ($6k), Dali Helicon 800 ($6k), Sonus Faber Grand Piano ($3.5k) or Cremona's ($8k), or, as said before, the Dynaudio's.

My reference system (the Studio 60's are in my HT system) has the Sonus Faber Grand Piano Home speakers. I would NEVER replace these with the Paradigm S8's. Now, compare the prices! I think you could love these over the long haul, too. I've never gotten anything but joy from them for 4 years now. Mine are in a similar sized room (slightly larger), also with wood floors.

Cheers.
With few exceptions B&W are dry, sterile, and boring speakers lacking musicality in the midrange. Stay away.
The Von Schweikert recommendation is excellent. Tons of performance for the money and they will embarrass the 803D.
Thanks for all the responses! Where I live the only dealers around are B & W and Paradigm. That is why I posted this thread. If I am going to travil to Atlanta, I wanted to know what to look for and listen to. I will campair the B & W and Paradigm locally but there seems to be a consensis that they will not be what I want.

I will difently listen to the Von Schweikert (I emailed them to find the closest dealer), Dynaudio's and JM Labs before I make a decision.

Has anyone compaired the last three I mentioned head to head? Has anyone had any problems with the last three?

Thanks again for your responses,

Dffhogs